Open in order to . . . . Author Nancy Postero Explains Why She Published with Luminos

By Nancy Postero, author of The Indigenous State: Race, Politics, and Performance in Plurinational Bolivia

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo


I am so excited about being able to publish my new book, The Indigenous State: Race, Politics, and Performance in Plurinational Bolivia on Luminos’s new open access platform. I chose to publish this as an open access book because I wanted it to be available to my Latin American colleagues, who do not all have the same library access to journals and books that North American scholars do. I was really incited to do this at a meeting of the Bolivianist scholars network a few years ago. When Northern faculty asked our Bolivian friends what we could do to support their research, they unanimously said: Put everything you can on the web so we can access it. My own work has benefitted so much from  my conversations with Latin American, and particularly Bolivian, scholars, and I feel making my work available is one small part of my larger ethical and intellectual debt to them. And it is working! I was just at a conference in Mexico, and a young indigenous MA student from Ecuador told me she had just downloaded and read my book. I am thrilled because it took much longer for my previous work to reach colleagues.

I am also particularly happy to make this available for free to graduate students. While the older generation of scholars still prefers to read hard copy books (Luminos books are also available in that format), most younger scholars read mostly online. It is great to be able to send people a link and know they can read it without the expense of buying and shipping books around the world.


Nancy Postero is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Now We Are Citizens: Indigenous Politics in Post-Multicultural Bolivia.

The Indigenous State: Race, Politics, and Performance in Plurinational Bolivia is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy of the book.

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